The Head of Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Amb. Ketil Karlsen, on Wednesday said 62 million Nigerians live without access to improved water and spend over half an hour traveling to fetch water.
The European Ambassador equally said the organization has spent more 260 million euros in reaching more than ten million people in 14 states of the country.
He said in its efforts to continue to support rural and urban water sector institutions as well as sanitation, the EU expended over 12 million euros in providing solar powered boreholes, schools sanitation facilities (Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines) in some selected communities in Plateau State, which is part of the 14 aforementioned States.
Karlsen disclosed this at the commissioning of a Solar Powered Borehole Project and School Sanitation Facility at Lo-Gwom Kwi, Riyom LGA of the State.
The project is part of the European Union’s intervention in the water and sanitation sectors in Plateau State and it is being implemented by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the State Government.
According to him, “While 62 million people in Nigeria continue to live without access to improved water and spend more than 30 minutes traveling to fetch water, 27% of the population has no access to water.
He added that, “47 million Nigerians defecate in the open; while 45,000 children under five years die annually from diseases caused by poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
“Only 5.5 percent of schools and 5.2 percent of health facilities have basic, gender sensitive Water Sanitation and Hygiene services”, he lamented.